Environnement, Risques & Santé


Putting the “One health” approach into action, not just how but why Volume 21, issue 3, Mai-Juin 2022

1 Chercheuse à la Tour du Valat – Institut de recherche pour la conservation des zones humides méditerranéennes, Le Sambuc, 13200 Arles, France
2 Rattachée à l’UMR, Mivegec (IRD/CNRS/UM), Montpellier, France
Tirés à part : M. Vittecoq

Article previously published in Humanité et Biodiversité magazine 7 and republished with its agreement.


The reason to put the “One health” approach into practice may seem obvious. However, the different sectors and disciplines involved in this approach may not see it in the same light. In this article, we try to understand the underlying difficulty in answering a seemingly simple question. In particular, we highlight the different definitions of health as applied to humans, animals and ecosystems. We also note that, while plant health is included in the One health approach, it does not appear as clearly as animal health, which raises questions about the status of cultivated plants within this concept. We thus suggest showing how the different health sectors overlap rather than merely juxtaposing them. As there is no simple solution to converge the definitions and objectives of the different sectors involved, we also stress the need for a continuous and dynamic dialogue between the various actors. Finally, since working with the living world is an inherently ongoing process, we suggest that the objectives and implementation of initiatives to advance the “One health” approach should also be dynamic.